Notes: A compelling image of Dr. Walker, wearing her usual frock coat, trousers, a necktie, and her Congressional Medal of Honor. The image dates from her lecture tour of Great Britain in 1866 and 1867.
Walker (1832–1919) obtained a medical degree in 1855 and practiced medicine into her old age. During the Civil War she applied to be an army doctor but her request for a commission was refused because she was a woman. With much persistence, she obtained a contract position as a surgeon. In April 1864 she was captured by Confederate soldiers as a prisoner of war; she was released a few months later as part of a prisoner exchange.
After the war, she renewed her efforts to obtain a military commission. Congress reached a compromise, awarding her the Medal of Honor and granting her a military pension. Walker refused to wear traditional women's clothes and advocated for dress reform. She was active in the Suffrage Movement and lectured widely on women's civil rights.
The albumen print measures 2-5/16 by 3-9/16 inches on a thin, 2-3/8 by 4-1/16 inch photographer's mount reading, "ELLIOTT & FRY. / Copyright / 55 BAKER ST | PORTMAN SQUARE." The verso (back) of the mount has the publisher's monogram and the firm's name and address.
Edition + Condition: An excellent image, with good contrast and tone.
Publication: London: Elliott & Fry, 1866–1867.
Item No: #362704